Friday, May 16, 2008

Long Street

Last week I drove downtown three nights in a row in the rain, and every night I sat at the intersection of Neil Ave and Long Street, waiting to turn left, and looked at the skyline through the rain. I was also reading Dangerous Angels last week, which is set in LA and very, very visual and California and magical. It's a book I love and re-read just for nostalgia's sake, and because I wanted something sweet and romantic and dark and light and magic and beautiful. But anyway, I got the idea in my head that the neon of the skyline reminded me of sunset in California, so that's where the poem came from. I don't know where it's going, but I realize I almost have a persona who's from California and is a visitor or a transplant here in Ohio. She's definitely not the same persona as the "I" who narrates my poems about childhood, which is interesting. Or maybe not interesting.

Long Street

The rhythmic swish-splash of wipers
On my rain-drenched windshield,
A damp flannel softness to the skyline
Above my head and to the left - I am sitting
At the longest red light in Columbus.

The shy shades from rainy grey
To the indigo of twilight, pink and red
And orange neons echo softly in the mist.
It looks like sunset in L.A., this brightness
That is artificial here. The light turns

Finally green. I turn left, head
East, turning my back again
On California. Somehow I will
Learn to love the rain.

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